Monday, October 16, 2017

Children's Books About Bats!

This week we are so excited to host a special guest, a bat biologist from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, for Bats of Wisconsin LIVE! Our guest will teach us about the importance of bats and unearth some mysteries of Wisconsin's bats. She'll also be accompanied by live bat ambassadors, including a fruit bat native to Africa!

To learn more about these amazing animals, check out one of these books today. You can also visit the Wisconsin Bat Program to learn more.

Bat Hospital by Care Hibbert
Information about bats receiving care and re-entering the wild. Image Source

Bats by Martha E. H. Rustad
A short, non-fiction introduction to bats.

Bats: Learning to Fly by Falynn Koch
This non-fictional graphic novel follows a brown bat who is injured by humans on a nature hike to a rehabilitation center where he meets many different species of bats. Image

Bats at the Library by Brian Lies
A fictional story about a group of cute and lovable bats exploring their local library! Other titlesin this picture book series are Bats at the Ballgame, Bats at the Beach, and Bats in the Band. Image Source

The Case of the Vanishing Little Brown Bats: A Scientific Mystery by Sandra Markle
A team of scientists investigate why so many little brown bats are dying. Learn about why these bats are important to humans and how you can help protect your local bats.

Nightsong by Ari Berk
An adorable, young bat is afraid to fly on his own. He finds a way to rely on himself to be brave and stay safe.

Stellaluna by Janell Cannon
The classic picture book about a baby bat who is raised by a group of birds when it accidentally falls into their nest. Image Source

Monday, October 9, 2017

STEAMpunks Reading List: Balloons

Today is our first STEAMpunks event of the school year! This popular program for kids in grades K-5 occurs on no school days in our district. Each event has fun, educational activities that incorporate Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM).

Our activities today are all centered around the theme of balloons! Kids love balloons, and they are full of endless opportunities for play and discovery. Here are a few book titles to pair with any balloon loving kids.

Fiction Stories with Balloons

Can One Balloon Make an Elephant Fly? By Dan Richard
A King Seen From the Sky by Bruno Gibert
Max and Maddy and the Bursting Balloons Mystery by Alexander McCall Smith
My Red Balloon by Kazuaki Yamada
Perfectly Percy by Paul Schmid
Please Bring Balloons by Lindsay Ward
Sea Serpants Don't Juggle Water Balloons by Debbie Dadey
Sebastian and The Balloon by Philip C. Stead
Skunk on a String by Thao Lam

Non-Fiction about Balloons

Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade by Melissa Sweet
Hot Air Balloons by Mari Schuh
How Do Hot Air Balloons Work? By Buffy Silverman
How To Make Balloon Animals by Megan Atwood
The Kid's Guide to Balloon Twisting by Brad and Cindy Trusty
Super Simple Things To Do With Balloons: Fun and easy Science for Kids by Kelly Doudna

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Monday, October 2, 2017

National Hispanic Heritage Month: Books for Kids & Teens

National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated annually from September 15-October. This month celebrates the histories, cultures, and contributions of Americans whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

There are so many fantastic books to read in celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month! Here are a few of our staff favorites for kids & teens!

Ten Little Puppies / Diez Perritos by Alma Flor Ada
An adaptation of a traditional Spanish nursery rhyme with adorable illustrations by Isabel F. Campoy told in both English and Spanish. (Ages 0-5)

Niño Wrestles the World and Rudas : Niño's Horrendous Hermanitas by Yuyi Morales
Brightly illustrated stories about Niño, a huge Lucha Libre fan, and his imaginative life. (Ages 2-7)

Juana & Lucas by Juana Medina
An award winning first chapter book about Juana, a young girl from Colombia, and Lucas her dog and her best friend. (Ages 6-10)

The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez
This debut novel published in 2017 follows Malu, a punk rocker at heart, as she starts a new school in Chicago while trying to understand her Mexican American identity. (Ages 7-12)

Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan
A wonderfully told story about a young girl and her mother who must leave their comfortable life in Mexico to work as farm laborers in California set in the early 1900s. (Ages 10-14)

Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings by Margarita Engle
A poetic memoir about the author's childhood spent in Cuba and California.

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
A new release from the author of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe about best friends, growing up, family, and figuring it all out.

The Living & The Hunted by Matt De La Peña
Award winning books by a multiple award winning author! In The Living and The Hunted a young man named Sky's world is shaken by massive natural disasters and Sky must fight to survive.

Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina
An award winning story about a teen girl named Piddy Sanchez trying to find her way in a new school and neighborhood.

For more suggestions of great books for kids and teens check out past winners of the Pura Belpré Award. This honor is awarded annually a Latino/Latina author and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.

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Monday, September 25, 2017


It's Banned Books Week!  This is an annual event, usually held during the last week of September, in which we celebrate the freedom to read.  Every year, books are challenged and/or removed from public and school libraries.  The Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles a list of the top ten most challenged books each year.  The 2016 list is available here:

For more information on Banned Books Week, visit or

Here are a few books that have been challenged and/or banned in the last 25 years.

Children's Books:
George by Alex Gino
Alice series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

Young Adult Books:
Drama by Raina Telgemeier

Looking for Alaska by John Green
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman
Forever by Judy Blume
The Giver by Lois Lowry

Adult Books:
Make Something Up by Chuck Palahniuk

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

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Monday, September 18, 2017


Next month, we will be discussing The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian.  This novel travels between Syria in the 1910s and New York in the 2010s.  This is a book of parallel stories of Elizabeth Endicott during her time in Syria during the Armenian Genocide and Laura Petrosian, a novelist living in modern day New York.

Chris Bohjalian is the author of over 15 novels.  His newest work, The Flight Attendant, is set to be published in March 2018.

Already finished The Sandcastle Girls and want to know what to read next?  Check out the novels listed below.

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult - Sage Singer befriends an old man who is beloved in their community.  One day he asks Sage for a favor; he asks her to kill him.  Sage refuses, but then he tells her that he deserves to die.  After he reveals his secret, Sage wonders if he is right.

Orhan's Inheritance by Aline Ohanesian - After Orhan's grandfather is found dead, Orhan inherits the old family business.  However, his grandfather's will brings more questions than answers.  His grandfather left the family estate to a stranger.  Why would he leave his home to an unknown woman rather than his own son or grandson?

The Secret Life of Violet Grant by Beatriz Williams - This story follows Vivian Schuler in 1964 Manhattan and Violet Schuyler Grant in 1914 Berlin.  One day Vivian receives mail from overseas that contains items that draw her back into her family's past, to the hushed-over crime of an aunt she never knew.

The Last Day of the War by Judith Claire Mitchell - This is the story of a Jewish girl and an Armenia-American solider who enter a maze of politics at the end of World War I.

The Photographer's Wife by Suzanne Johnson - Years after participating in a project to redesign Jerusalem with British parks, William Harrington visits the daughter of his former employer, and his revelations about the past transform her life.

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton - During a summer party at her family home, Laurel Nicolson has escaped to her childhood tree house.  While there she sees a stranger approach and speak with her mother.  Before the afternoon is over, Laurel will witness a crime; that crime will challenge everything she knows about her family.

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Monday, September 11, 2017


School is back in session!  Whether you are starting school for the first time or are a seasoned veteran, this time of year is always full of excitement; you get to meet new people, start new classes, and learn new things along the way.

Here's a list of some school-themed books for kids and teens:

Picture Books and First Chapter Books:
School's First Day of School by Adam Rex
Chu's First Day of School by Neil Gaiman
Rufus Goes to School by Kim Griswell
Puddle's New School by Amber Stewart
Angelina's New School by Katherine Holabird
Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus by Barbara Park
The Class Trip from the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler
If You Take a Mouse to School by Lara Numeroff
Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary

Middle Grade:
From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess by Meg Cabot
School of the Dead by Avi
Dr. Critchlore's School for Minions by Sheila Grau
Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar
Amber Brown is not a Crayon by Paula Danziger
Harriet, the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

Young Adult:
A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
A School for Brides by Patrice Kindl
Surviving High School by Max Doty
Two Roads From Here by Teddy Steinkellner
Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
Romancing the Nerd by Leah Rae Miller
Lucy and Linh by Alice Pung
Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger

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Tuesday, September 5, 2017


Selden Edwards is the author of The Little Book (2008) and The Lost Prince (2012).  Edwards graduated from Princeton and Stanford, and began writing his first novel while working as an English teacher. 

The Little Book is a love story that spans generations, from the end of the century Vienna through the twentieth century.  It tells the story of Wheeler Burden.  He is living in San Francisco in the late 1980s, when he suddenly finds himself wandering around in 1897 Vienna.

The Lost Prince is a sort of sequel to Edwards' first novel.  This novel is set in the late 1890s and early 1900s.  After a stay in Vienna, Eleanor Burden returns home where she marries the man she is supposed to marry, and waits for life to come to her.  What sets Eleanor apart from the other women of this time is her belief that she has advance knowledge of every major historical event to come during her lifetime.

For something similar to Selden Edwards' books, check out one of these books today!

The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore
An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris
Church of Marvels by Leslie Parry
The Woman in the Photo by Mary Hogan
A Curable Romantic by Joseph Skibell
Against the Day by Thomas Pynchon

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